Ratatouille…the gift that keeps on giving!  We still had a ton of veggies leftover from Sunday’s feast…mushrooms, zucchini, squash, shallots, etc…and a bit of ground beef and goat cheese from Mark’s filet mignon, SO when I was at the lower Queen Anne Safeway this evening, I was really trying to come up with a meal that could incorporate what I had at home.  We both agreed that we wanted something on the lighter side (which instantly ruled out our “go to”… pasta) so as I walked produce land, I ran right into 10 for $10 Assorted Bell Peppers.  BINGO- Stuffed Bell Peppers!

Jack, guarding the ingredients...he washed his hands.

I knew Mark was not going to be all that excited about the traditional Stuffed Bell Pepper so I needed to get a little creative. I quickly did a little research to make sure I had all the ingredients I needed and literally walked out of Safeway with 4 bell peppers (yellow, orange, red and green), a bag of rice and a pound of ground turkey- trying to keep it healthy tonight :0)

On my way home, stuck in 2nd Avenue traffic, I started second guessing the rice.  I really wanted to use the leftover chevre and for some reason the rice just felt a little heavy.  While I was researching, I did find a great recipe that used couscous so I dropped by Paris Grocery and bought some couscous along with Smoked Red Pepper Sea Salt- a perfect spice for tonight’s meal!

Gut the bell peppers (removing the tops and seeds)

So here is what you will need…

  • 4-6 bell peppers
  • 3/4 lb lean ground beef
  • 3/4 lb ground turkey
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Cumin, to taste
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 2/3 cups couscous
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup zucchini, chopped
  • 3/4 cup squash, chopped
  • 3/4 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 3/4 cup tomato, diced
  • 3/4 cup chevre
  • Panko bread crumbs, for topping

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Gut the bell peppers (removing the tops and seeds) and arrange them on a prepared baking dish (I used cooking spray).  Pop them in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until they start to soften (you will see wrinkles on the side of the peppers), remove and set aside.

In a saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil and then add the 2/3 cup couscous.  Let it sit on high heat for 1 minute and then cover the pan and remove from heat.  Let the couscous sit for about 10-15 minutes, covered.

1st angle...

Meanwhile, on medium to high heat combine your beef, turkey, 1-2 garlic cloves, sea salt, red pepper flakes, cumin and black pepper.  Brown the beef/turkey and drain excess oil.  Set aside.

Heat olive oil in large skillet and add the shallot, remaining garlic, zucchini, squash and mushrooms.  Stir continuously for about 5 minutes (until the veggies are soft) and then reduce the heat.  If you think you might need more oil, just use chicken stock!  Add the tomato, stir for 1 minute and turn off heat.  Add the beef/turkey and couscous to the veggies and mix.

2nd angle...

Just before stuffing the peppers, crumble about 1/2 cup of the chevre on top of the mixture.  Fill the peppers completely with the mixture, top with the remaining chevre and a layer of Panko bread crumbs.

the final plating. stuffed! ;0)

Pop them back in the oven for about 15-20 minutes and enjoy immediately!